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Two lawyers walk out on Ondo CJ over bias in land dispute

Two lawyers on Friday staged a walk out of a court presided over by the Ondo State Chief Judge, Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi, alleging bias in a land tussle brought before the court.

The lawyers,  Chief Dapo Agbede and Mr Morakinyo Ogele, said they walked out of the court following the refusal of Justice Kumuyi to allow counsel to the claimant and applicant, Ogele, to have access to the record of proceeding of the court

Ogele, who appeared in suit no Ak/173/2012 in his motion on notice, asked the court to allow him have access to the record of proceeding in the court, having been recently briefed in the case.

Ogele said this would allow him to study the case and also enable him to give proper representation to his client.

In his motion dated and filed on November 10, Ogele asked  for an order before the court, compelling the Registrar of the court to produce the certified true copy of the record of proceedings in the case to the new counsel retained by the claimants.

In an affidavit by Ogele in support of the motion, he explained that the case was being handled by Mr Wale Omotoso who decided to withdraw from the case due to paucity of fund to offset his professional fees by the family. However, the family contacted Ogele who agreed to represent the family in the court  as new counsel in the case, but said all efforts to get the case file of the Olokunjuwon family on the land tussle from the court officials was not successful.

However, the counsel to the second, third and fourth defendants, Messrs Adetunji Oso and Ola Olawale, said the court should use its discretion in granting the request.

In his ruling, Justice Kumuyi refused to grant Ogele and Agbede’s request to access the record of proceedings while the two lawyers told the judge that they would not be able to proceed with the case because the refusal of the application would prevent their clients from getting fair hearing.

The two lawyers stormed out of the courtroom with their clients leaving the judge with only few of the defendants.